DEVELOPMENT: Demolition for 6-house Alki Point project

Thanks to Jim Borrow for the photo and tip. Four old houses at 65th/Admiral Way have been demolished to make way for new ones. Records show that the site at 65th SW/SW Admiral Way, sold last year to an entity of Blackwood Builders Group for $1.8 million, has six new houses on the way. Readers have noted that the site has history; for one, Jim recalls that it once held flower beds and greenhouses “started by the founder of Neilsen Florists at the corner of California Ave SW & SW Oregon (now Shadowland).” We’re told the old houses also had drawn some attention for their Modernist architecture –

We photographed that one last week after a tip that a backhoe had arrived:

16 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: Demolition for 6-house Alki Point project"

  • anonyme July 16, 2020 (4:25 pm)

    What a phenomenal waste.  Can’t wait to see what kind of crap is thrown up (an apt expression) on the site of this formerly artful property (sarcasm).

    • DML July 18, 2020 (1:14 am)

      If you happened to spend the money to buy the property, what would you do with it?

  • just wondering July 16, 2020 (5:27 pm)

    These properties were owned by Philip and Margaret Ceis.  She was a prominent politival activist and lifelong community organizer in West Seattle.

    • Brian July 16, 2020 (7:01 pm)

      It’s super weird how you can’t own property forever. Like even after you die you can’t keep it. It’s messed up. 

      • velveteena July 16, 2020 (7:13 pm)

        Hi, Brian.  It IS weird. Like, EXPECIALLY after you die you can’t keep it.

    • Pelicans July 16, 2020 (10:16 pm)

      I have to hope something better will go up. Please.

  • valvashon July 16, 2020 (7:56 pm)

    Sure, those houses were small but yes, the Modernist architecture was pretty cool.  All were built between 1947 and 1948 and were clearly on the leading edge of the Mid Century Modern school of design.  Our previous house was built in 1948 and the design was so much older and more conservative than these houses.  The file cabinets that will be taking the place of these houses are going to make me cry.

    • Pelicans July 16, 2020 (10:34 pm)

      OMG, “file cabinets” is the best description of these cheap, fast and ugly architectural blight invaders of our city that I’ve read to date! That is exactly what they look like. To counter their bleakness, they have cheap wood accents on the outside that fade within a year and look like neglegted absentee landlord apartments. 

      • Townhome Resident July 17, 2020 (9:54 am)

        It is interesting that for all the talk about affordable housing, how our neighbors are quick to judge and label townhome apartments and people who live in them. There isn’t any more land available for affordable single family homes and existing homes are well out of most middle class people’s reach.  Unless some single family home owners are willing to sell their homes to us for way below market (not likely), builder grade condo units is all we can afford.

        • Jimmy Nimbles July 17, 2020 (4:08 pm)

          Couldn’t agree more.  There’s some hypocrisy on this thread too.  The lot sold for $1.8M.  To refresh for livability would be $300k+ and to build a new SFH of modern architectural significance would be $1M.  That means the type of person that could buy that house for SFH purpose would be in for $2.25M-$3M.  The buyer for that type of house is probably in the tech industry, which is generally vilified.  So we either get upset that tech money is pushing their way in, or we get upset that more affordable multi-family units go up.  New families want to come join the community and enjoy the area — let them.

  • Joan July 17, 2020 (7:43 am)

    Sigh. Another cool  house gone. Another box to replace it.

  • Rick July 17, 2020 (10:40 am)

    Money is money, “progress” is progress. I get it but I’m the most sad over losing character.

  • RT July 17, 2020 (11:22 am)

    We haven’t  seen the designs yet and might be pleasantly surprised. Clicking on the link to the Blackwood Builders Group website reveals some prior projects that were more interesting than the aptly described file cabinets mentioned above. We can hope!

    • Rick July 17, 2020 (4:37 pm)

      File cabinets are cool. Just trust me. Especially if you’re in the top drawer.

  • john July 17, 2020 (3:44 pm)

    It’s a bit of irony that everyone suddenly appreciates the design of these inexpensive mid-century modern homes.  Add another story or two and replace the overhanging eaves with a roof top deck and you have the currently loathsome,  now ubiquitous, ‘cabinet file’ aka ‘box house.’    This style was progressive and emerged through post war American modernism.  Interesting historical note is that shed style houses were considered low class housing with the  (original) High Point WW2 housing a prime example.  The historical ‘flat roof’ style of High Point was so disliked by the community that when High Point was razed and redeveloped developers were banned  from ‘flat or shed roofs’ proposals.  This was at the height of the ‘McMansion’ fad in local development and explains all of the cookie cutter false gabled dormers attached like warts to the ‘cottage style’ gabled homes built.The Ceis’s have long been West Seattle & Alki activists with Margaret’s son Tim Ceis deputy mayor of Seattle living next door.   I have often admired the micro Ceis area/compound that is hidden within sight and a wonderful little pocket of Alki Beach.-

  • Will o Wisp July 17, 2020 (5:18 pm)

    Margaret Ceis, a mover in the Alki community.   I first met her during the movement to keep Alki Point from having a huge sewage treatment plant.  I don’t think we would have considered having Safe Street if it (constellation park) was across the street from a major sewage treatment plant. Thanks Margaret

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